Where Are You Allowed to Fire a Gun?
Gun laws differ drastically from state to state. Arizona has some of the least restrictive firearms laws in the nation. However, it’s always wise to double-check the regulations before you decide to do some target practice anywhere that isn’t a controlled indoor or outdoor range. If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the law, contact a criminal defense attorney promptly.
Within City Limits
Arizona has prohibited the discharge of firearms within or into the limits of any municipality. This means if you’re standing just outside the Tucson city limits, and you fire a gun into the city limits, you could be convicted of a class six felony. There are exceptions, of course. You can fire a gun on any properly supervised range. A properly supervised range includes a range operated by a nationally affiliated shooting organization, as well as any range approved by an agency of the federal, state, or city government.
On Public Land
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not specifically designate approved target shooting areas on any public land in Arizona. And in some areas, shooting is strictly prohibited because of usage by the public or environmental concerns. For example, it’s unlawful to discharge a firearm in any developed area such as a campsite. Target shooting may be permissible in other areas, provided you follow the rules. When choosing a target shooting site, you must ensure that shooting there:
- Doesn’t damage or destroy government or private property, natural features, native plants, historic structures, or cultural resources
- Doesn’t create a public hazard or nuisance
- Doesn’t create a condition of littering or refuse accumulation
This last rule simply means that you need to clean up your shell casings, targets, and other trash before you leave.
Janet Altschuler provides vigorous legal advocacy services for Tucson residents charged with gun crimes. She brings more than 20 years of experience to the cases she handles. Call her law office at (520) 247-1789 to request a consultation.